If you’re about to start or resume study in 2018, you may be feeling a little anxious about how you’ll manage your time – especially with other competing New Year’s resolutions. Even if your study load is only a few hours per week, prepare yourself by answering the following questions to uncover if you need to re-organise your time or mind.
1. What’s your goal?
With any task – big or small – focusing on the end goal is key for motivation. Regardless of where you’re at in your study journey, appreciate why you’re investing the time and energy, and what amazing opportunities you’ll create for yourself. You can even try 10 Meditation steps for achieving your goals.
2. Are you a procrastinator?
A common challenge for most of us is getting distracted – by anything and everything. This can cause anxiety and regret by eroding our long-term goals. Watch Tim Urban’s TED Talk, Inside the mind of a master procrastinator, where he warns us about becoming a spectator in our own lives.
3. Do you know your schedule?
If you often forget appointments and have no idea what you’ve got on tomorrow, let alone next week, an app can help. Populate your phone and give your brain a break by scheduling reminders and colour coding activities. Check out some of the best calendar apps here.
4. Does something need to give?
After you’ve got a better handle on your schedule, try to identify the truly important activities and scrap those that don’t add value to your life. If study is helping you achieve an important long-term goal, you may have to reduce time spent on other things.
5. Have you told anyone?
Some of us keep our goals private, for the fear of humiliation if we fail. But vocalising your study plans can help others understand your time constraints. Depending on your work arrangements, you may be entitled to annual leave in the lead up to exams.
6. Can you delegate?
Family, friends and work colleagues can support you in your studies by helping with various tasks. Ensure you’re clear in your instruction so that you don’t end up taking over, or join over 1.6M Aussies who’ve brought in Airtasker recruits!
7. Have you identified distractions?
List what noises, pets or people might distract you at home so you can plan quiet time when hitting the books. If you need some help practicing the art of concentration, listen to Dandapani’s TED talk, in which he shares spiritual tools from his days as a Hindu monk.
8. How are your sleeping habits?
Getting a proper nights’ sleep can have a big impact on your studies, so make any adjustments to your regime now. Bad sleeping habits can affect your ability to learn and remember. Check out 37 science-backed tips for better sleep.
9. What’s your study space like?
Keep your study space uncluttered, even if your surrounds become messy. Your study nook doesn’t have to be magazine perfect, just a clear desk with a chair that promotes good posture. Whether at work or home, follow these steps for the best sitting position.
10. Want to talk to an expert?
Our student advisors provide recommendations on study schedules every single day. They can tailor a program to you, and if your circumstances change, they can help you scale your studies up or down to suit. Call 13 OPEN, enter your details below or LiveChat via the OUA website.